Advanced Reading Lesson #1 - Coronavirus Problems

1. Read the text.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Check your answers.

Text

COVID-19. Conflict. Collapsing economies. Drought. Now we’re facing a new disaster: “famines of biblical proportions in 2021”.

 

That’s according to the 2020 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, David Beasley, who runs the World Food Program and has added its voice to a growing cacophony of alarms, stating “we’re on the brink of a hunger pandemic”.

 

The world we live in is an immensely complex device. Everything is connected. Everything is balanced. Everything – be it global stock markets or supply chains – is part of an extensive interconnected system.

 

Which is why the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of environmental disasters have thrown some serious spanners in the works.

 

Australia’s Royal Commission into recent catastrophic bushfires warns of “compounding disasters” affecting the “economy, critical infrastructure and essential services”.

 

Defence Force chief Angus Campbell has warned disasters are already “more extreme and more common”.

 

Now Mr Beasley is using the Nobel Prize to highlight the warning signs his 20,000 staff are seeing worldwide.

 

Refugee camps are overflowing, their occupants having fled their fields. Farmers are leaving their land fallow due to a lack of labour, seed and feed. And many of those crops that have been planted are wilting under drought or being washed away by storms.

 

“It’s getting worse out there … (and) our hardest work is yet to come,” he said.

  1. What did David Beasley receive in 2020?
  2. What does David Beasley say will happen in 2021?
  3. What does ‘thrown some serious spanners in the works’ mean?
  4. How many staff does Mr Beasley have?
  5. What is happening to farmers?
  1. The Novel Peace Prize.
  2. Conflict, collapsing economies, drought and famines.
  3. To stop something from happening easily or smoothly.
  4. 20,000.
  5. Farmers are leaving their land as they don’t have enough labour, seed and food.

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